More booze, more problems

As the author says, you won’t find answers at the bottom of a bottle

Alcohol kills over 100,000 people a year in the United States. It is the second most dangerous drug, after tobacco. Famous writer Jack Kerouac died from heavy drinking when he was only 47 years old—he threw up blood until he died; the booze had corroded the esophageal varices in his throat and had also prevented proper formation of platelets to clot the blood.

Alcohol goes into the blood stream and affects every organ in the body. It inhibits the ability of bone marrow to make red and white blood cells and impairs the ability of the pancreas to make insulin. The third leading cause of death among men ages 25 to 65 is cirrhosis of the liver from heavy drinking.

Heavy boozers are also more susceptible to cancer—the likelihood of cancer of the mouth, throat and stomach increases by 15 times if the person is also a heavy smoker. Excessive long-term drinking takes 10 to 30 years off a person’s life and binge drinking is often fatal—20 straight shots of booze will kill you (your breathing stops), 17 shots you’re in a coma, 14 shots you’re unconscious, 10 shots and you have minimum conscious control, three shots and you’re legally drunk.

The liver can process only one drink per hour. Women cannot drink as much as men because they process alcohol differently—one drink for a man is about 1 1/2 drinks for a woman. And yes, drinking causes weight gain. Going cold turkey to quit booze is dangerous for alcoholics, who must ween themselves slowly under a doctor’s guidance.

Young people are very susceptible to the allure of booze. Seventy-seven percent of high school kids and 54 percent of eighth-graders have drunk booze in the last year, so colleges have freshmen who are already professional drunkards. It’s an axiom that heavy drinking by college students causes grades to fall. Yes, getting drunk is like being on a carnival ride at the county fair. But you won’t find the answers to your problems at the bottom of a bottle of booze—you’ll just find more problems.